A truly 'stellar' performance from Starr...
paiger42 | Kutztown, PA United States | 04/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Hi, my name is Garrison, and I used to have a cd called 'Eighteen Over Me' which some of you may have heard of...or maybe none of you have heard of."That is what Garrison Starr said when she took the stage at a show I attended recently. Maybe it was true, considering the crowd was mostly made up of people who had paid to see Cracker, the band she was opening for. But my friends and I knew EXACTLY who Garrison Starr was. And we couldn't have cared less about Cracker.I have been a fan of Garrison Starr for quite some time now, and I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of her second album for the past 5 years. I must say, this was well worth the wait, but I certainly hope it's not another 5 years before we hear from her again!After changing record companies, there was a VERY long time in between Garrison's OUTSTANDING first album, "Eighteen Over Me," and her second release, "Songs From Takeoff to Landing." She did release an EP independently, which was aptly titled, "Something to Hold You Over," and it did just that, as well as whet my appetite for some more Garrison. I rushed out the day the cd was released, and quickly popped it into my player. I came to a conclusion after only one listen: the new album is amazing.Garrison Starr is not only a tremendous singing talent, but she is an amazingly gifted lyricist. The lyrics on this album are phenomenal, as well as the music itself. Her voice is so unique, and that wonderful little "twang" of an accent makes it all the more appealing. "Big Sky" is the first single off of the album, and it is terrific, but my personal favorites are "Serves Me Right"--a song about a "sketchy relationship," as she put it--and the awesome "Gardenia." Both are amazing lyrical triumphs. Take away the music, and Garrison is a gifted poet.Garrison is currently touring small clubs as an opener for Cracker, and I had the good fortune to be able to see her perform live. She is even more awesome in person. Her 45-minute set was intense, and she performed almost all of her songs from the new album, which was absolutely fine with me. There were a few people in the disappointingly sparse crowd who were begging to hear "Superhero," but Garrison did not play her "signature" song. And really, there was no need. The new album stands on its own, and has a sound that is unlike her first cd, but just as good in its own right. Garrison deserves to make it BIG. She is NOT just a one-hit wonder, but rather, she is a very talented performer. Hopefully, she will get the recognition she deserves with this new album. I haven't stopped listening to it since I bought it.And, what makes this even better is that she really is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. The great thing about her playing in a small club on a weeknight was that the crowd wasn't very large, and we were able to actually talk with Garrison for a few minutes after her set. She signed my copy of her EP, and was honestly surprised when we told her that we had come to the show only to see her--we didn't care about Cracker (and we actually left before they even took the stage). She is so sweet and so appreciative of her fans...this is the type of person you can't help but root for and hope that she becomes a MAJOR success. She certainly has the talent for it.As she wrote on my friend's T-shirt, "Rock on," Garrison."
A singer-songwriter powerhouse
William Merrill | San Antonio, TX United States | 03/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With a rare mixture of strength and vulnerability in her music, Garrison Starr's music is more "real" and meaningful than the vast majority of what you hear today from the singer-songwriter club. She's got the same kind of passionate delivery that the Indigo Girls have (without the ruined vocal cords), and her band on Take-Off gives the songs an added punch that's sure to set toes tapping and heads swaying everywhere. At least 7 or 8 different guitarists support Ms. Starr on the album - a different studio combo for nearly every song - but they all play with zeal and skill in equal measures. On "Knucklehead," a cut that really rocks, I could have sworn Garrison was being backed by Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood! (It was Mike Grimes and Ben Peeler.) I first heard her music on one of the "I-10" CDs, and was mightily impressed. Now, with "Take-Off" and its many high points, I've added Garrison Starr to my list of artists to follow in the future."
superball9 | Arlington, VA, USA | 11/29/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Songs From Take Off To Landing is Garrison Starr's major follow-up to 97's critically acclaimed Eighteen Over Me. Things were looking good for Starr with spots on the Lilith Fair tour, but like many other female singer/songwriters as soon as the tour was over radio play dried up and the girls were banished to the cutout bin. After walking away from music for a time between her two records, Songs From Take Off To Landing plays more as a journey in confidence than anything else. Starr realizes "Somethin's Gotta Change" in the opening track. By the time she hits the middle of the album's "Raging Fire" she recognizes that her heart has found its beat with brand new bright mornings. She also picks up some iconic friends along her way as Mary Chapin Carpenter and Steve Earle lend their support on the journey. On the penultimate track, "Hardest Part Of Living," Starr begs her lover to "come on, break my heart" because she knows she'll ultimately be stronger because of it. One of the most rocking and assured tracks, "Knucklehead," closes the disc acknowledging "you make me wanna rock / you make me wanna sing" and somehow you know she's referring to herself and her rejuvenated confidence in her craft."